Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chow Time!

What's dinner time like at your house? Ordinarily at my house it's a pretty quiet affair, with occasional whines from Heffner. Though I should amend that by stating as long as I feed them on time. If the dogs don't get their dinner on time, they lose their little minds!

Our regular routine is that once I get home from work I feed them right after taking them out to potty. Since the majority of our cardio involved activities happen after 8pm, I want to make sure that they have enough time to eat, digest, and be okay to go running or whatever we're doing.

If you'll remember from a previous post, Heffner developed a bit of a demand barking propensity around meal time. It all started off cute enough (don't all bad habits?). He would roo at me or do something else that I found adorable while I was fixing the dogs' meals. My reaction was to laugh or make some sort of comment. Basically positively feeding into his reactions. Well, it was escalating into some seriously annoying demand barking that would NOT stop. It stopped being cute and started being something that I needed to fix. The fixing was thankfully easy enough. Even though Bess is a complete angel and will actually go and stand waiting in her crate for her meal without even being told to, I put both dogs in a down stay out of sight of the kitchen. Heffner will occasionally whine, but as long as I don't feed into that (i.e. make fun of him out loud for being such a poor, starving, deprived dog), he quiets down. He also has learned that I will continue to withhold food if he breaks that stay. And since he is clearly starving to death, he will do EXACTLY as told in order to get that precious food. Once he's given the release word, he launches out of his tensed position and hurtles toward the door. I should probably work on that part a little too.;0) From there, everything is peachy keen.

If I don't feed dinner right away though, it's a whole different story. First the dogs start out slow to see if I've just had a momentary lapse into insanity. Heffner does nose bumps all over until I acknowledge him in some way. Then Bess comes in to invade my bubble by putting her nose exactly 1 mm in front of mine (I'm usually sitting when this happens) and leaning her body into me. It's effective. She gets my attention. If I continue to not produce dinner, that's when the dogs go crazy. They start zooming around the house, wrestling maniacally with each, producing a horrifying array of sounds, and using the walls of whatever room as their spring boards. Playing and wrestling is normal for them, but this kind of wrestling takes it up a few notches and only happens when they haven't received dinner at the appointed time. The wrestling is also hard to break up and get them to settle down from. I usually have to bodily block one from the other for an extended period of time or I have to yelp very loudly like an injured dog. They put on quite the show. Enough so, that they've actually put a few dents in our walls in the process. Oy!

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

You'll have to excuse the ugliness of some of the wall colors. The house came like that and we haven't gotten around to repainting. Maybe because we're waiting to also have the holes repaired?? Also excuse the obvious slobber marks on the walls. Spit happens!

The moral of the story is that if I don't feed my dogs their dinner on time, someone or something is going to pay!


brooke said...

wow! Jason would burst something in his head if Darwin made a hole in the wall like that!
Darwin usually stands near the kitchen leaning along the wall whining til she gets fed. Or if Im making her dinner she'll stand at the counter whining.

Lindsay said...

Adam has stayed surprisingly calm about it. When we bought the house, we knew going in that something was going to have to be done about the walls. We just didn't realize that we were going to have help.;0)

Mango said...

On weekends we like to take a nap in the afternoon. Sadly, that sometimes overlaps dinner time. Mango is in the habit of banging his tail on the floor as loudly as possible which effectively ends napping regardless of where we are in the house.

I am well acquainted with the mayhem of giant dog bodies flying around the house. Hehehe.

Mango Momma